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Turn to Jesus (Article)

Challenge Yourself!
Young men and women are making a world of difference through involvement in the Regnum Christi Mission Corps

RCMC boys working

"All that work, all that blood, sweat and tears, waking up in the middle of the night...I changed that one life, and if that´s all I did, it was completely worth it."

These are the words of a young man who gave one year of his life in the service to others, and that year ended up giving him back more than he ever hoped.  He was among the young men and women who join the Regnum Christi Mission Corps (RCMC).

His testimony and many others are in the introductory video on the new RCMC website.  In that video you will hear the following phrase repeated again and again:

“It changed my life. It changed my life. It changed my life…”

Mission Corps members are Catholic missionaries, male and female ages 18 years and older, who serve for 1-2 years in cities throughout the US and abroad.  Working with local parishes, these young people are trained to lead service projects, spiritual retreats, mission trips, and to serve in Regnum Christi apostolates.

Countless articles have been published in recent years relating to the increased interest and number of young people opting for a gap year rather than heading directly into college or the work force.  These publications seem to be touching on how young people are benefiting, not only spiritually, but academically and professionally from participating in the gap year experience.

RCMC alumni and parents confirm the benefits of donating a year in the lives of young people before entering college and the work force.

“This program truly helps you find yourself, and you
On the bridge
leave prepared for whatever your next step in life is,”
said one alumnus in the RCMC video.

Scott Hurd, a parent of three former RCMC missionaries, said words “cannot describe the impact that Christ, through RCMC, has made on our 3 sons.  Plain and simple, don’t send your kids to college without it.”


According to Helen Yalbir, a National Formation Director of RCMC, the program has gone through major changes in the last few years (particularly this year.) Previously, young men and women participated in separately governed, gender-specific RCMC programs.  Now there is one national program, with one operating team which includes a new national coordinator, overseen by a board of directors. The promotion, application and fundraising aspects of the two separate programs have been streamlined and combined.

Missionaries still live in single-gender teams and commit to being “single for a season,” but
RCMC young men and women
some program aspects now involve a co-ed experience including the summer training of missionaries. Another major change is a much-anticipated end-of-year mission trip to Jerusalem, which starting this year will be also be a co-ed experience.

“And the program in cities such as Chicago and Atlanta, includes additional co-ed aspects, with young men and women missionaries planning their Mission work, hosting activities, attending monthly dinners at RC host family homes and receiving some of their ongoing formation together,” said Helen.

“Our goal is to eventually have all assignment cities include all aspects of the co-ed experience,” said Fr. Martin Connor LC, a national formation director of the program. “There is a great need to help the young people today mature in many ways -- in their faith, self-worth and sense of responsibility -- before sending them out into
Priests and friends
the world, as well in learning how to develop healthy male/female relationships, something this program is now better able  to provide.”

The RCMC planning team is also working to expand the program to include more assignment cities. “We are hoping to eventually offer a missionary experience in every city where Legionaries or consecrated members live,” said Helen.


RCMC is one of the only missionary experiences which give participants the ability to live and work within communities of priests and religious. Many RCMC missionaries say they particularly benefit from this unique exposure.

Erin McCrory, the national coordinator of RCMC was also a former missionary. She explains, “As a female living with the consecrated women or for the male missionaries living
with the priest and brothers you see all aspects of their life, you see their continuous charity not just during work hours but even after and you get to see first hand how their commitment to prayer is what fuels it.”

Erin continued, “Pope John Paul 2 said ‘the world is desperately in need of authentic examples of Christ, and that is exactly what this program provides in a very unique way.’”

Erin said, “that statistically more and more Catholic youth are opting to take a “gap year” of service and that the church as a whole is responding by providing more unique opportunities to do so.” This year RCMC led a collaboration with other national volunteer programs such as NET, FOCUS, Mission Youth, Generation Life etc., to highlight these opportunities and produced a promotional DVD for the
RCMC girls
National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry (NFCYM) “that displayed the many wonderful, opportunities available out there for youth to serve the church” she said.

Thanks to efforts by the RCMC management team, alumni from the program are now reuniting to remember their experiences.  “We are working to develop communications modes to make this possible,” said Helen. “Our Atlanta alumni have already organized one reunion in May 2012 that was very successful.  We hope to hold many more the future.”

Past missionaries can check out the RCMC Facebook page to see if their service year has formed an alumni group.  Information is also on the RCMC website.


The current cost of the program is $7,900, which according
to operating team’s research is one-third the price of similar programs.

“The RCMC year actually costs twice what missionaries pay to participate,” said Erin. “But thanks to donors who subsidize the cost, RCMC can offer it for a reduced price, and we also provide assistance to missionaries with fundraising for the portion they do have to pay.”

“We are making this a priority so no young person, as much as possible, is turned away from this experience because of financial difficulty,” said Fr Martin. “Without our donors we just couldn’t run this program.”

Donations can be made via the RCMC website,

Click here for a summary of RCMC costs and application process. For further information, please contact our National Office at (248)860-4369 or send an email to or



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Sponsored by the congregation of the Legionaries of Christ and the Regnum Christi Movement, Copyright 2011, Legion of Christ. All rights reserved.

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